A week-long celebration of events highlighting the rich beer history of the Centennial Malt House and the St. Louis region.
There has been much development in our local beer scene in the past decade and the Centennial Beer Festival has worked hard to reflect those changes. Since year one we have incorporated more local and regional breweries, now taking up the entire second floor to more than 35 at last count. Last year was the first we had to turn away breweries because of space consideration. The choices of domestic craft breweries available in St. Louis has also ballooned and that is not forgotten either as we have expanded that selection to more than 80.
Years ago there were fewer than 10 major local beer festivals and now there can be that many in a one month span. To that end we have had to continue to build and grow. What used to be a one session tasting has grown to include many nights of celebration; On Monday you can join the St. Louis Brewers Guild with a chance to hear the latest information about what is going on with the 60+ guild members. Maybe something more holistic, how about Yoga buzz with some beer tasting as a reward for the hard work?
Beer is great to pair with food and our Brewmaster’s dinner puts that sentiment front and center featuring a local brewery with past hosts reading as the who’s who of St. Louis Brewers. The Home Brewer’s competition on Friday reflects the grassroots of the beer revolution and the VIP Saturday sessions are a direct result of those looking for a chance to sample the myriad of reserve, vintage and special release beers now available. We grew so much, we added space to the festival floor until we now have more than 50 different tasting tables covering over 20,000 square feet in the restored Schnaider Brewery Malt House.
And all along our goal was the quality of the experience versus the quantity of the number of guests. We limit ticket sales and although frustrating to turn guests away, we don’t want your experience to be driven by standing in line. We also purchase the beer and even though some of the proceeds go to the Foodbank for all of their help volunteering, we knew that if we wanted to have the best beer, we needed to pay the brewers for their best.
All this could not have been possible without the breweries and distributors who we consider part of our ever growing family. They put in tireless hours loading, setting up, serving and most importantly spending time with us to share their beers. These people are the real part of the festival that makes it unique, the people behind the booth with the expertise.
So take a look at the schedule of events and whether you join us for something new like the Brewers Brunch at Vin de Set or one of the tasting sessions, thank you for taking time on a winter’s day to celebrate what the St. Louis Beer scene is all about. After all without you riding along for the past decade, we would not be able to host you during our favorite festival of the year.
Jason Arnold -Founder